Forest proposes bighorn management

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is proposing to amend its Land and Resource Management Plan concerning the management of bighorn sheep.

The Forest Plan currently contains one “standard” specific to bighorn sheep, which focuses entirely on the Darby Herd, reintroduced in 1981. However, this standard does not provide landscape scale protections for the Forest’s bighorn sheep population.

The Jackson North, Jackson South, Whiskey Mountain, Targhee, and Absaroka herds all occur on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.  These herds are all considered core, native herds, and their protection is emphasized by the state.  The Darby Herd also exists on the Forest and it is a reintroduced herd. Currently, the Forest Plan direction for bighorn sheep management only addresses the Darby herd and standard outlined in the Forest Plan is vague and open to interpretation since there is no geographic delineation of where this standard applies.  Additionally, the standard does not apply to core, native bighorn sheep herds which are the State’s highest priority.

The Forest is beginning scoping for the proposed amendment to the Forest Plan which involves seeking public input to aid in the design and development of this proposal. Comments concerning this proposal must be postmarked or received within 45 calendar days after publication of the legal notice, and all comments received will be part of the official record.

 

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